The regular season is about six weeks away, and there are already quite a few games to start looking forward to this year. Here are ten games that Flames should really be looking forward to during 2018-19.
1. Calgary Flames vs Boston Bruins China Doubleheader (Sept 15 & 19)
I know it’s pre-season so it’s kind of cheating for this list but the Flames and Bruins meeting in China should be a great event next month. Both teams will likely be bringing veteran-laden rosters as the NHL continues to grow the game in Asia. I could do without the 12:30 AM and 5:30 AM start times but for these two games, it’s about the Chinese/Asian hockey fans, not us.
2. Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks (October 3)
Opening night. Not really much more needs to be said than that. The Flames will embark on their quest to return to the playoffs by taking on their Canadian rival in Vancouver. Hopefully they can pull off a victory and start the season 1-0 for the first time since October 2009.
3. Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks (October 6)
Just like with opening night, not much more needs to be said about this game other than its the home opener. It’ll be the first chance for the fans to see the whole roster in person and really get a sense of what the Flames could be in 2018-19.
4. Calgary Flames vs Boston Bruins (October 17)
There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, but if there was a night next year that made sense to retire Jarome Iginla’s number, it would probably be this one. Iginla had his best success outside of Calgary in Boston and now resides there as well. Even if this isn’t the game where they retire his number, it’ll be fun to watch another Tkachuk-vs-Marchand game.
5. Calgary Flames vs Washington Capitals (October 27)
Wow, there’s a lot of early season games on this list so far. The Stanley Cup champions will be in town on a Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm puck drop) in what should be an entertaining affair. It’ll also provide a very good measuring stick for the Flames who will just be 10 games into the season at that point.
6. Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks (December 31)
A high-meaning Pacific Division battle on New Year’s Eve? Yes please. The Sharks are poised to be very good this season so this game could really have a big impact on the standings. Both teams will try to head into the new year with a victory.
7. Calgary Flames at Detroit Red Wings (January 2)
It’ll be the first game since the infamous poke by Matthew Tkachuk last year that incited a line brawl during a blowout loss. The teams went on to combine for 131 PIM in the game. Now the teams will have had over a calendar year to simmer down since that incident, but with these two teams meeting only twice a year, the Red Wings still may have a grudge.
8. Calgary Flames vs Carolina Hurricanes (January 22)
Five players and a coach will take on their former clubs on this night. It’ll be the first time Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland return to the Saddledome since the big trade at the draft. It’ll be interesting to see who gets more love. For Bill Peters, Elias Lindholm, Derek Ryan, and Noah Hanifin, it’ll be their first chance to stick it to their former team.
9. Calgary Flames at Ottawa Senators (February 24)
With the NHL trade deadline presumably set for February 25, this could be the last game before the Flames make a major move at the deadline. Or maybe they do nothing, who knows. As long as they have fun in Ottawa witnessing the dumpster-fire of an organization the Sens will be at that point.
10. Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers (April 6)
Game 82. I really couldn’t go through this whole article without squeaking at least one Flames-Oilers game in there. Who else is really looking forward to seeing the Flames putting the finishing touches on a remarkable season by slapping the Oilers around one last time before Edmonton heads into another mediocre summer after missing the playoffs? Me too.